REDS' G.M. TO L.A.? Reds general manager Jim Bowden has talked with Dodgers officials about taking the same job in Los Angeles.

The Reds said Friday that they gave the Dodgers permission to interview Bowden, and The Cincinnati Post reported he flew to Los Angeles the same day.

Tommy Lasorda, the Dodgers' interim general manager who plans to remain with the team as an adviser next season, confirmed Saturday that he had spoken to Bowden.

The Dodgers also plan to interview Florida Marlins general manager Dave Dombrowski and have received permission to talk with other candidates.


BREWER DEFENDS TITLE: Charles Brewer stopped fellow American Antoine Byrd in the third round Saturday with a flurry of punches to successfully defend his IBF super middleweight title in Leipzig, Germany.

BOXER CHARGED WITH STALKING: Antwun Echols, ranked No. 2 in the International Boxing Federation middleweight class, was arrested on weapons and stalking charges.

Echols posted bond and was released after his arrest Thursday. He is accused of driving up next to a Davenport, Iowa, woman and firing shots at her van, Davenport police Detective Larry Gillaspie said.

The victim said Echols, a Davenport native, has been stalking her for four months, police said.


RONALDO QUESTIONED: Brazilian star Ronaldo was among those questioned Saturday in an investigation of possible drug use in Italian soccer.

Nothing has been turned up so far according to the chief investigator for the Italian Olympic Committee's drug commission.

The investigation "has not found any elements which makes it seem that doping exists in soccer," said Ugo Longo.

But, he said, there appeared to be "a generalized use of substances whose effects we don't know well and on whose usefulness not even pharmacologists can agree."

Longo appeared to be referring to supplements, which several players have said they use or know are used.


BARKLEY ANTICIPATES SEASON: With the NBA lockout approaching its third month, Charles Barkley is gearing up for what could be his final season.

The free agent forward is recovering from surgery to repair two hernias and a torn tricep, but said he is ready for another year. Doctors could clear Barkley for workouts as soon as Labor Day.

"I'm a good, solid player," he said. "I'm not a great player anymore, but I'm solid. I finished third in the league in rebounding last year, and I feel like I can do it again without those two hernias, so I'm excited."

Barkley talked with six or seven teams before the lockout and said he would only leave Houston if he felt the Rockets couldn't compete for a championship.


DU MAURIER: Monica Seles upset top-seeded Martina Hingis of Switzerland 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 Saturday in the $1.3 million du Maurier Open women's tennis championship in Montreal.

Seles advanced to Sunday's final against third-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain, who beat second-seeded Jana Novotna of the Czech Republic 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in the second semifinal later Sat-ur-day.

RCA CHAMPIONSHIPS: After posting two-set victories over their respective foes in Saturday's semifinal round, Andre Agassi and Alex Corretja predicted a tight battle in Sunday's finals of the RCA Championships in In-dia-na-po-lis.

Agassi, the fifth seed, advanced with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory over Paraguay's Ramon Delgado. Corretja, the sixth seed from Spain, eliminated 15th-seeded Todd Martin 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

PILOT PEN: Goran Ivanisevic shook off an aching shoulder and continued his dominance over Yevgeny Kafelnikov, eliminating the defending Pilot Pen champ 6-3, 6-4 Saturday with a dominating service game.

In the hunt for his first tournament win in the United States, Ivanisevic will play No. 7 seed Karol Kucera, of Slovakia, in Sunday's final. Kucera advanced by beating No. 4 seed Richard Krajicek, 6-7 (8-6), 6-4.

Horse racing

HALL OF FAME TRAINER DIES: Woody Stephens, the Hall of Fame trainer who won an incredible five consecutive Belmont Stakes victories, died Saturday after a long illness in Miami. He was 84.